Henry Cavill Apologizes for "Misunderstanding" Over #MeToo Comments
The 'Man of Steel' star said in a magazine interview he was hesitant about approaching women "because I'm going to be called a rapist or something."
Henry Cavill has apologized after coming up against sizable social media criticism for an interview in which he appeared to conflate flirting with rape.
Speaking to GQ Australia, the Man of Steel and Mission: Impossible — Fallout star discussed the MeToo movement before moving onto flirting, where he suggested that he was reluctant to approach women for fear of getting accused of sexual assault.
After those comments were met with backlash, Cavill's rep issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter in which the actor said he "wanted to apologize for any confusion and misunderstanding" that his comments may have caused.
"Insensitivity was absolutely not my intention. In light of this, I would just like to clarify and confirm to all that I have always and will continue to hold women in the highest regard, no matter the type of relationship, whether it be friendship, professional or a significant other," Cavill said in his Thursday statement.
The actor added: "Never would I intend to disrespect in any way, shape or form. This experience has taught me a valuable lesson as to the context and the nuance of editorial liberties. I look forward to clarifying my position in the future toward a subject that is so vitally important and in which I wholeheartedly support."
In the original interview, Cavill was asked what he'd learned from the MeToo moment we're in.
"I've been fortunate enough to not be around the kind of people who behave that way," he said, adding that, to his memory, there had been "no moments when I look back and think, 'Ooh, OK, maybe someone shouldn't have gone through that."
But when questioned on how the revelations out of Hollywood had made him reflect on his own behavior, he turned to flirting, saying that "while stuff had to change" with regard to men's behavior, it was also "important to retain the good things, which were a quality of the past, and get rid of the bad things."
However, Cavill — who said he believed in the "traditional" approach to dating in which women are "wooed and chased" — later went on to talk about his hesitancy to approach women in the current climate.
"It's very difficult to do that if there are certain rules in place. Because then it's like: 'Well, I don't want to go up and talk to her, because I'm going to be called a rapist or something,'" he said.
"So you're like, 'Forget it. I'm going to call an ex-girlfriend instead, and then just go back to a relationship, which never really worked.' But it's way safer than casting myself into the fires of hell, because I'm someone in the public eye, and if I go and flirt with someone, then who knows what's going to happen?"